FOM: Relevance and mathematical modeling: a case in point

Martin Davis martind at
Wed Nov 19 13:11:51 EST 1997

At 11:52 AM 11/19/97 -0500, Jon Barwise wrote:

>Neil raises the question of relevance in mathematical reasoning.  I think
>this is an interesting issue.  Why is it that mathematicians who do not
>know of a principled response to, say, Russell's paradox, not worry about
>it, as long as it is not relevant to their branch of mathematics?  They
>would never try to publish a proof of the Reimann Hypothesis (RH) by
>assuming it was false, using Russell to get a contradiction, and then
>claiming RH.

Presumably they would know that the same "reasoning" would yield a proof of ~RH.


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